How to become a speech and language therapy assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

Most health and social care courses include work placements so this could be a good way of getting experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can do an advanced apprenticeship as a senior healthcare support worker.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Work

You could start as a healthcare assistant and move into speech and language therapy work, through further training and promotion.

Volunteering

Employers look for relevant work experience so it would be an advantage if you have worked or volunteered in a health or social care role.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice. Do-it also has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some of the relevant skills and experience needed for this role.

There are no set requirements but you'll usually need good literacy and numeracy skills, some employers may ask for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

You may also need a qualification in healthcare or health and social care.

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Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapy assistant from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

For bilingual co-worker jobs it will be essential to have the ability to speak a second community-based language.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role, you could: 

  • work with the therapist
  • work with clients on a one-to-one basis
  • run group work and activities
  • provide advice on cultural and language differences (if you’re a bilingual co-worker)
  • support clients with any personal needs, for example, mobility issues
  • prepare therapy rooms and equipment

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, in an NHS or private hospital, at a client's home, in a nursery or at a school.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team leader and supervise other speech and language therapy assistants. 

You could also train as an assistant practitioner and study for a foundation degree before training as a speech and language therapist.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Senior Health Care Support Worker

  • Wage: £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Hull

Courses In England

Level 2 Apprenticeship Standards - Healthcare Support Services

  • Provider: WAKEFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location:

Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support

  • Provider: VOCATIONAL TRAINING SERVICES CARE SECTOR LIMITED
  • Start date: 01 December 2020
  • Location:

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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